May Week Committees planning for ‘significantly smaller’ events

Louis Mian 1 February 2021
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

The May Ball Presidents’ Committee announced, on Friday, that May Week committees ‘are making tentative plans’ for events that will be ‘significantly smaller in nature than past May Balls’, if they can go ahead at all.

The Presidents’ Committee, which is composed of the Chairs of all major May Week events, explained that these plans are necessary due to the ‘uncertain and rapidly changing’ situation, meaning ‘it is impossible to predict what restrictions will look like in June.’ It stressed that in spite of this, however, May Week committees are still ‘working hard to provide an event to mark the end of the academic year.’

It was explained that ‘over the course of the term, individual committees will be releasing more detailed information about their plans.’

‘Since each event is in a unique situation, operating on a different timeline, we ask that you are patient while you wait for these updates.’

‘In all cases, students can expect a significantly delayed ticket sales period,’ the Presidents’ Committee continued.

This follows news that the Queens’ College May Ball has been cancelled this year, as the committee stated it was ‘neither feasible nor sensible’ to hold the biennial ball in the current circumstances. It was explained that while the idea of a smaller event had been entertained by the committee, this was ultimately rejected: ‘Putting together a smaller event in a smaller timeframe would mean poorer value for money overall and less money spent on food and entertainment.’

The St John’s College May Ball Committee has stated that they are planning for three scenarios depending on what restrictions are in place. While Plan A ‘is a May Ball as you all understand the term’, in Plan B there will be ‘a bespoke event for current members of the College only, starting in the afternoon and running to the late evening.’ If Plan C is put in place, however, there will be ‘no event at all’.

‘Thanks in no small part to last year’s Committee, we are in the fortunate position of being able to delay the decision between these three plans until the spring,’ the St John’s committee outlined.

Meanwhile, the Sidney Sussex College June Event Committee has told students that they ‘are considering making some large changes to the event’, due to ‘increased uncertainty about the situation we will all find ourselves in come May Week’. They asked students to comment on what their reaction would be to holding a college-only event and how likely they would be to attend given this change.

The Mall Ball Presidents’ Committee has emphasised that ‘the safety of University members, the wider Cambridge Community, and the general public is at the forefront of all of this planning’ and that, as such, ‘events will only go ahead if they are Covid-secure and compliant with council and government regulations.’